Early History of Fannin County, Texas


The government consisted of three distinct branches; the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. The Judiciary consisted of courts Civil, Military and Eclesiastical; the Congress, of a few biggotted patricians, and the Executive of a Governor and Vice Governor. The last named had supervisory control of the others, and generally issued his decrees as Santa Anna did, against Col. Fannin and his men at Goliad. This is an outline of the government of Texas, at the time Fannin County, which was a part of it, began to settle up with white people. However several clauses of the constitution will strike the average reader as being sound and logical. One of them reads ; "Se tendra el mayor cuidado en que las carceles sirvan solo para asegurar a los reos y no para molestarlos," the translation of which is, "The greatest care shall be taken, that the jails serve only for securing, and not for molesting the accused". Might this not apply with more or less force to many localities of the United States at present.

Suppose a settler not naturalized, which under the law he could not be, without first becoming a catholic-should have offended, what, in all probability, would have been the pains and penalty. Let the death cry and blood, of thousands, from the invasion of Cortez, to the late struggle of President Barrios of central America, against church despotism and tyranny over state government, answer.

The principal branch of the government with which the people had to do, was the Judiciary. The Alcalde (a kind of a circuit Justice) constituted the main court, and his decrees were final in most cases. All criminal actions for light transgressions were decided by the executive, from which there was no appeal. The Ayuntamientos (a court consisting of one or more Alcaldes, Sindicos, and Regidores) had supervisory control of all the town and city governments. But for the existence of ecclesiastical courts the Judiciary department would have served the people and the time well enough. Bitter experience has taught every nation that church and state must be separated, and every intelligent person of today, will meet the proposition to consolidate the two, with the sternest opposition.

After the death-struggle of 183, and its sequel in treaties between the two governments, the immigrant to Texas found a different government. The same as that of the other states, or as near as could be, consistent with all things--was inaugurated. It became it government with representation from among the people, and only awaited the usual preliminaries to become a member of the greatest Union of States on earth.


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